Safe Travel to Mexico

Is it safe to travel to Mexico?  The short answer is:  yes.  Although certain parts of the country have seen a rise in drug-related violence in the last few years and the gruesome news reports have done little to help the country’s image in the minds of tourists, the fact is that most parts of Mexico are still safe to travel to.

As with any foreign country you go to, it is important to be informed and to take appropriate safety precautions.  Staying up to date with U.S. State Department travel advisories, avoiding border towns, and staying in tourist areas will help make your trip to Mexico a safe one.

With its breathtaking beaches, historical landmarks, and rich culture, it’s no wonder that so many people have an interest in visiting Mexico.  The country’s beauty and diversity of attractions has made it a consistent draw for resort-goers, outdoor-adventurers, and culture-seekers alike, and has helped cement it as one of the top international tourist destinations.

Mexico deserves its place on vacationer wish lists, and despite some troubled areas, travelers need not avoid the country as a whole.  By making informed decisions, taking simple precautions, and exercising common sense, travelers can continue to take advantage of all that Mexico has to offer.

Below I’ve collected some fantastic articles by prominent journalists and bloggers that show that Mexico is not at all how the media portrays it. Below that is an interesting section with links to statistics that may surprise you!


Crime: USA versus Mexico – written by Mexico on My Mind – expats living in Mexico shed some light on statistics that show Mexico does have LESS crime than the USA.

Don’t forget to check out this Statistics Site by Nation Master, showing that the USA holds the number 1 position for overall crime in the entire world. You’ll notice that the USA wins the title for most crime by a rather gaping margin as well, with Mexico down at number 12.

The Untold Story of Mexico – Is it really Safe to travel there? – written by adventure travel enthusiast Dana Johnson – A personal viewpoint on a first visit to Mexico.

THE MEDIA’S MYOPIA – read about the real safety in Mexico by Terry Denten of Travel Leaders, one of the leading travel agency’s worldwide.

Mexico Recognized as “Tourism Board of The Year” by Virtuoso Luxury Travel Network – Mexico is the first tourism board to be awarded ‘Virtuoso Tourism Board of the Year’. The Mexico Tourism Board was honored by renowned luxury travel network, Virtuoso, with the first-ever “Virtuoso Tourism Board of the Year” award.

Mexico Tops the Best Travel Lists for 2012 Travel – from Frommers, Lonely Planet to World Travel Market – Mexico tops the lists of the most trusted travel guides in the world!

Worlds Best Places to Stay by Conde Nast List 2012. Mexico has a staggering 33 properties on this list.

US State Department Recognizes Safety of La Paz and South Baja in Mexico – ‘For the First Time, New Travel Notices for Mexico Specifically Separate La Paz, Confirming It as One of the Safest Cities in North America‘. How many other destinations in Mexico have been labeled as unsafe over the years I wonder…

Put your fears aside: Mexico’s Copper Canyon is safe – and gorgeous‘ says Associated Press’s Lisa Adams.

Latest ‘Traveler Safety Zone Map‘ in Mexico as published by Travel Weekly. Please notice that the Copper Canyon in southwestern Chihuahua State (near Sinaloa State) is NOT a troubled zone.

Brutally honest perspective from a Canadian living in Mexico, Douglas Anthony Cooper, with some great statistics to back it up. Have a look! How Not to get Beheaded in Mexico.

Article by San Francisco Chronicle’s Christine Delsol: ‘Mexico is Safer than Headlines Indicate‘.

Lisa Adams from the Associated Press heads to the Copper Canyon in Dec. 2011 for a peak at a canyons system 4 times larger than the Grand Canyon. Here is her report: Copper Canyon – Scenic & Safe

CBS News Video on American’s Moving to Mexico: there are over 1 million American’s living in Mexico. See why here.

Wonderful continuing blog about what really goes on in Mexico and how the American media has blown so much out of proportion. There are articles, reports, statistics and videos here that go back for years. What is really going on in Mexico? 

Retirement & Second Homes in Mexico 2011…A “half full or half empty” market? Read about the milliions of Americans living in Mexico and why they choose to live here.

View comments from Peter Greenburg, one of the most trusted and influential figures in international travel in this article. Peter Greenburg comments on the Safety of Travel in Mexico.  

Arnie Weissman from Travel Weekly travels with the President of Mexico through the country to see how safe it really is. Read his article.

Article from The Catalist ‘Violent Deaths in Mexico – Everything is NOT as it seems’  – great article about how safe Mexico really is, especially when comparing it to crime in US cities. Interesting read and highly enlightening for those frightened by the over dramatized and misleading news broadcasts in the USA. Read this article.

I Survived a Week in Mexico: a much needed perspective balancing article about a Canadian visitor to Mexico. Read her article.

What You Should REALLY Worry About When Traveling To Mexico: lovely article. Have a look!

Article from CNN: Mexico tourism official says vacation spots in Mexico are far removed from violence. See the full story. 

Mexico’s Violence Not as Widespread says USA Today: a closer look at the latest official statistics indicates that much of Mexico has modest murder rates. See the full story.

Is Cancun Safe for Visitors? See the full USA Today story by Kitty Bean Yancy

How Safe is it to Travel to Mexico? It is just as safe as anywhere else if you follow common sense rules that should always apply wherever you travel.  Read this article by Carol Pucci from the Seattle Times.

Is it Safe to Visit Mexico? Article by Aysha Griffin. Read it here.

Why I’m not afraid of Mexico by Candice. Check it out.

Mexico is Safea blog by We Are One Travel, a Mexico specialist travel agency. 

Mexico Today – U.S.-Mexico Tourist and Travel Groups Urge Texas Department of Public Safety to Alter Tone of Misleading Mexico Travel Alerts. Read the article here.

Shedding New Light on Travelling to MexicoAn CNN article written by Lonely Planet travel editor Robert Reid combats concerns that travelling to Mexico is unsafe.

For some interesting statistics on safety in Mexico versus elsewhere in the world, please follow the links below.


Total crimes by country statistics – Shows world-wide total crime placement for all countries. Note that Mexico is at number 12 with 1.5 million while the USA holds the number one spot for overall crime in the entire world with over 11 million. Interesting to note here is that the number two country in the world for overall crime shows half as much crime as the USA.

Statistics comparing Mexico to the USA for different types of crime – You’ll see the comparison here for different types of crime with both the USA and Mexico winning and losing some battles but you can see clearly that the negative media blasts are exaggerting the ‘dangers’ of visiting or living in Mexico.

I find it particularly interesting to see the final tally for overall crime in either country at the bottom of the page putting the USA at almost 12 million with Mexico at only 1.5 million. That is a huge difference really. So why one would feel safe in the USA with those numbers so high and unsafe in Mexico where there’s 7 times LESS crime than the USA is perplexing. I do believe it all comes down to not understanding what is really going on with the negative news blasts and the politics involved in it all.

Mexico violence not widespread – United Nations Office on Crime presents a report about the murder rate in many countries. Mexico is at 14% with Jamaica, Honduras, Trinidad and Belize at up to 60% and even Russia with a murder rate slightly higher than Mexico. Be sure to read the whole article and scroll to the bottom to see the chart.

Safety in Mexico – a link to our own blog that features several links and a lot of information about how safe Mexico is from several different surveys and newspaper articles.

More on the Security of Mexico – an interesting and mind opening read about Mexico’s safety.

Travel Weekly article showing the warning areas of Mexico on a map. Please note that the Copper Canyon is NOT included in any of the official warning areas. Mexico Travel Warning Mapped

Also note that the warnings are for specific areas and should not be taken to mean that the entire country should be avoided. Try to keep in mind that you do not enter certain areas of your own city in your own hometown as they are viewed as unsafe, wherever you come from. One should remember that these warnings are very specific and should not be generalized to mean the whole city, whole state or whole country.

A personal note from Yolonda, the owner of Amigo Trails, The 3 Amigos & We Are One Travel:

There are over 1 million Americans living in Mexico today. I am one of them and have been living in this lovely country for over 12 years now, full time. I don’t live in areas that are colonized by Americans or foreigners or that are considered high traffic touristy areas, but rather in small, rural towns inside the Copper Canyon where English is not even spoken except in a few of the larger hotels. My son (10 years old) goes to school daily, plays with friends on the streets and we live rather dull but serene lives here. We are NOT afraid to walk on the street, shop in the stores or drive our cars. Life just goes on, as it does for any of you who are reading this in your own home town. I would venture to say that I see less crime here than I do when I am in the USA as a rule.

I ask that you take what you are seeing on the news in the USA with a grain, no a tablespoon, of salt as it is highly incorrect and over dramatized. Don’t let fear paralize you into believing what you are hearing is true. You are not in direct danger here, anymore than you would be where you live, and you will have a lovely time visiting this beautiful country. I am proud to be able to show it to you and hope that this page has been helpful in dispelling some of the misinformation that is circulating.


Mexico Vacation Safety – Rodrigo Esponda, Chicago Tourism Board

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